I received a surprise the other day when a girl I graduated high school contacted me out of the blue. I hadn't seen or spoken to her since the day we graduated nearly 20 years ago. (dear GOD I feel really old now) We chatted on and off in IM for the better part of the day, reliving old times and talking about our lives now and how much has changed since we'd graduated.
And then I realized how much *I've* changed. Looking at myself now I feel like I'm a completely different person from the one I was back then, and yet I'm still very much the same. But, I can't help but feel that I've somehow lost part of myself along the way. Sure now I'm more confident and outgoing, much more secure in who I am....but who is that really?
I am so many things these days. I'm a wife, a mother, a confidant, a lover. I'm a stay at home mom, so while I don't have a 'job' to go to, I do have a job and it lasts all day every day. A job that I don't earn any vacation time from or receive any bonuses from. I'm a nurse, a maid, a part time Mrs. fix it, at times a rock that holds the family together, a teacher, a mentor, a financial adviser....the list goes on and on.
Not that I'm complaining, I chose this life, and aside from the occasional bump in the road I'm a pretty happy girl.
But where do *I* fit in there? Where is the real 'me'? Is there even such a thing any more?
I would hope that I'm still basically the same person I was then, my desires and dreams for life haven't really changed all that much. Some of them have even been realized. But yet I can't help but feel that part of me is missing, lost somewhere under all of the other hats I have to wear.
There are days that my life overwhelms me and I want to just run away, wish that I could borrow someone else's life if only for a day or two, or sneak away by myself somewhere and just 'be me'. There are days that while the kids are taking their nap I will sit down and cry, wondering if there's more out there, if this life is really the life that I want, if maybe I've made a mistake and taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way. Nothing prepares you for how hard it is, nothing prepares you for the stress and the toll it takes on you. Or how from time to time you feel as if you might actually loose your mind if something doesn't give.
Then there are moments of complete and utter joy, making you realize how worth it, it all is. The laughter of your children as they run up and down the hall, the sweet little hugs and kisses out of the blue. The joy you feel in your heart when your 12 year old son wraps his arms around you and says, 'I love you so much mom." When your other half walks up behind you and wraps you up in his arms and kisses the side of your face for no reason.
There are so many things that happen in life to change and mold the person you are, morphing the person you used to be into the person you are right now. I think part of me misses the person I was back then, and envies her just a little bit. Back then the whole world was open to her and she was exuberant in the prospect of what was ahead of her, ready to take on life and all of it's challenges.
Perhaps that's what's missing, maybe that's the part of me that I want to get back. I'm not entirely sure. All I know is that I've embarked on a quest to get to know myself again, and hopefully I will find what I'm looking for.